Lot 208

Miami 2024

1969 Fiat 850 Spiaggetta by Michelotti

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$50,000 - $60,000 USD  | Offered Without Reserve

United States Flag | Coral Gables, Florida

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Chassis No.
100GB 1231722
Documents
US Title
To be offered on Saturday, 2 March 2024
  • A rare coachbuilt beach vehicle with impressive style
  • One of 80 examples built for a worldwide VIP clientele
  • Well-restored and very attractive
  • Ideal for one’s winter estate or as a yacht tender, as when new

The success of Ghia’s 500- and 600-based Jolly, the ultimate in open-air seaside motoring, inspired other European coachbuilders to get into the act, building “beach cars” on small Fiat chassis. Michelotti’s creation was the result of a collaboration between yacht designer Phillip Schell and the famed automotive designer Giovanni Michelotti, one of Italy’s most important stylists, known for his work for coachbuilder Vignale as well as Maserati, Lancia, and BMW. Known variously as the Shellette or the Spiaggetta, it was based upon a Fiat 850, with rather crisp, modern styling, with “luxury” features such as a heater and stereo not often found in a Jolly. With a 47-horsepower four-cylinder engine, it was quick enough to be driven on modern roads, with a top speed of around 60 mph, and front disc and rear drum brakes provided sufficient stopping power.

Only 80 examples of the Spiaggetta are believed to have been built, for an impressive clientele that included Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and the Italian Agusta industrial family. Like many similar vehicles, they were most often maintained at seaside homes or used as yacht tenders, purposes for which the survivors remain eminently useful today.

The Spiaggetta offered here was purchased new by Lois Philips Poster, reportedly a friend of designer Phillip Schell, as indicated by Italian registration documents included in the history file which indicate her delivery address as Michelotti itself! It is said to have remained in her ownership until the early 21st century. Discovered in a New Hampshire barn in 2012, it was subsequently cosmetically restored, with the charming original wicker seats preserved and the top replaced to the original design. The Spiaggetta was then acquired by the consignor two years ago, and it has since remained well-preserved in their climate-controlled collection.

Offered in good running order, it would be a perfect beach-side cruiser, in Miami or anywhere else!